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Lack Of Growth - Can Your Hormones Be The Culprit Behind It!

Reviewed by
DM - Endocrinology, MBBS, MD - Medicine
Endocrinologist, Bangalore  •  16 years experience
Lack Of Growth - Can Your Hormones Be The Culprit Behind It!

The pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain, is responsible for producing growth hormones. When the growth hormones are not produced sufficiently by this gland, then the rate of growth is slower. In children, the hormone needs to be adequate to ensure the right amount of growth. To maintain the right amount of fats in the body, adults need this hormone. The hormone is also required to maintain muscles and bones in the body. Lack of growth hormones can cause an emotional disturbance, tiredness, and motivation issues in adults. When the pituitary tumors are treated, cholesterol levels, too, are affected because of insufficient hormonal production. This deficiency can occur at any age in children and adults.

Symptoms in children and adults: When one is affected by slow growth hormone production, a number of symptoms may manifest. The most important symptom is short stature. Growth velocity for the corresponding age is also lower, and puberty is also delayed. One can also see the mid-area accumulating more fat in the body. In children, this deficiency can make them look much younger for their age. The tooth development is much delayed and they do not stick to their developmental milestones. Adults find it difficult to do exercises or they have low endurance when the growth hormones are insufficient. The skin becomes thick and dry, and they are also prone to anxiety, depression, and other emotional disorders.

Diagnosis: A hypoglycemia test is conducted to confirm the diagnosis. The individual is administered insulin through an intravenous line. The growth of hormone level is measured after 30 minutes. If the result is less than 10 mcg per mL in children, then it is considered that there is growth hormone deficiency. An adult is considered deficient in growth hormones when the level is less than 3 mcg per mL.

Treatment methods: As low growth hormones can lead to stress and fatigue, it is important for the people who are affected by this condition to get enough sleep. They should also concentrate on taking healthy foods. The cholesterol and triglyceride levels are already increased in people who have low growth hormone levels. So, avoiding fatty and oily foods is necessary. Doing physical exercises every day is also recommended.

Growth hormone therapy is one of the ways to improve the growth hormone levels in the affected individuals. The treatment not only aims at improving these hormone levels but it also ensures that the metabolism is maintained in a healthy way. The drugs for this condition are injected under the layers of fat in the skin. The drug is given via injection once a week throughout the treatment duration. If the disorder is because of tumors in the pituitary gland, then it can be treated only with surgery. For the same condition, radiation therapy is also given, if the tumor is not removed successfully with the surgery. People with low levels of growth hormones are advised to lose fat and avoid eating a heavy meal before bedtime. Intermittent fasting is also recommended.

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